Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lionel Tate Trial Re-Scheduled For Fall

Apr 16, 2007 10:36 am US/Eastern

Lionel Tate Trial Re-Scheduled For Fall

(CBS4) FT. LAUDERDALE Convicted child killer Lionel Tate will have to wait until fall for his robbery trial.

Jury selection for the trial was expected to begin Monday, but the judge in the case has continued it until the first week in September.

The continuance was granted when Tate�s attorney, Jim Lewis, said that they received contradictory DNA results from evidence last week, prompting them to file an appeal with the 4th District Court. He also said a new witness has come forward to claim that Tate never committed the robbery and never carried the gun.

Tate is accused of robbing a pizza delivery man with a gun in 2005. If he�s convicted, it could add a life sentence onto his current 30 year sentence, which he received for violating his probation after he was caught with a gun.

Last week, Tate�s lawyers moved to have his 30-year probation sentence vacated by claiming one of his former attorneys, Ellis Rubin, was incompetent.

Tate's current attorney Jim Lewis said it's troubling that Rubin allowed Tate to refuse a plea deal which would have given him a 30-year total sentence for both the robbery and gun possession charges.

In 2001, Tate was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 6-year-old playmate Tiffany Eunick. In 2004, an appeals court overturned that sentence, and ordered him to serve a year�s house arrest and 10 years probation.

Before the appeals court intervened, Tate was the youngest person in modern U.S. history to get a life prison term.

Lewis has also filed a change of venue motion for Tate�s robbery trial. He says it will be difficult to find a jury who hasn't heard about the troubled teen because of the extensive media coverage.

Jury selection will resume on September 3rd.

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